Calgary

Food-tampering suspect to plead not guilty

A woman charged with putting pins into food at a Calgary grocery store was shopping, and not tampering with groceries, in video surveillance, says her lawyer.

Accused banned from all Alberta Co-op stores

The Co-op at Oakridge Centre discovered three cases of food tampering between January and March. ((CBC))

A woman charged with putting pins into food at a Calgary grocery store was shopping, and not tampering with groceries, in video surveillance, says her lawyer.

Tatyana Granada, 43, is charged with mischief over $5,000 in connection to pins and sewing needles found in packaged cheese and flatbread on March 11 at the Oakridge Centre Co-op.

It was the third time metal objects were found in food items at the store on Southland Drive and 24th Street S.W. Police are probing more than a dozen other food-tampering cases that they say is the work of copycats.

"It raises a couple of concerns. I've heard the theory that there's copycats and the other concern is they didn't arrest the correct person this time," said Granada's lawyer, Mark Takada, outside court on Wednesday.

"We'll be pleading not guilty. That's certain," he said about the next court appearance on May 18.

Takada pointed out video evidence against his client is not strong.

"It's certainly not a smoking gun like a lot of other cases where the video is conclusive and you can say for certain that this shows what it purports to show," he said.

"This shows my client shopping in a Co-op, handling items, putting some back, putting some in her basket and then going and paying."

Granada was originally banned from going near the Oakridge Centre Co-op. On Wednesday, the Crown won its request to extend the ban to all Co-op stores in Alberta.

Takada said Granada, a mother of two, has had a hard time since being charged.

"She's very distraught about being accused of this and it's created a lot of havoc in her neighbourhood," he said.

Police have acknowledged that some of the cases they're looking at may be a result of manufacturer's defects.

With files from The Canadian Press

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